Chicken tenders are the ultimate crowd-pleasing dish – crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and downright delicious all around. But fried chicken tenders can be a real hassle to make at home, what with the messy breading process and hot oil splatter. That is, until the air fryer came along to simplify things.

With an air fryer, you can achieve the same golden, crunchy exterior and tender, juicy interior of classic fried chicken tenders, but with a fraction of the effort and oil. No more standing over a hot stovetop, no more disposing of used frying oil – the air fryer does all the work for you, delivering restaurant-quality chicken tenders with just a few simple steps.

Best of all, air fryer chicken tenders are a healthier alternative to deep-fried versions. By using just a light misting of oil, the air fryer crisps up the chicken to perfection without drowning it in grease. It’s a win-win scenario – all the flavor and texture you crave, but with fewer calories and less fat.

Ready to master air fryer chicken tenders once and for all? Let’s get started with a foolproof recipe.

1. Air Fryer Chicken Tenders


  • 1 lb chicken tenders
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Cooking spray or olive oil in a mister


Pat the chicken tenders dry with paper towels and season them all over with the garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.

Set up a breading station with three shallow bowls: one with the flour, one with the beaten eggs, and one with the panko breadcrumbs.

Dredge each chicken tender first in the flour, shaking off any excess. Then dip it in the egg, letting any excess drip off. Finally, coat the tender evenly in the panko breadcrumbs, pressing gently to help them adhere.

Preheat your air fryer to 400°F. Lightly mist the air fryer basket with cooking spray or olive oil.

Working in batches if needed, arrange the breaded chicken tenders in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Make sure they are not touching.

Air fry for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165°F.

Remove the cooked chicken tenders from the air fryer and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

That’s it! With just a few simple steps, you can enjoy restaurant-quality chicken tenders right at home, thanks to the magic of the air fryer. The secret is in the breading process – the flour, egg, and panko combination creates an extra crispy, crunchy exterior that clings perfectly to the juicy chicken tenders.

And the air fryer does the rest of the work, circulating hot air around the chicken to achieve that iconic fried texture without the mess and excess oil of traditional frying. The result is chicken tenders that are just as satisfying as anything you’d find at a fast food joint or sports bar, but made wholesome and homemade.

Serve these air fryer chicken tenders as the main course with your favorite dipping sauces, sides, and salads. Or use them as the protein base for chicken tenders salads, wraps, sandwiches, and more. They also make a killer appetizer or game day snack.

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julia jane

Julia Jane is a home cook inspired by her mother's cooking. With the desire to share my cooking experiences with everyone, she created this website

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